DHS announced that Pia Carusone, former Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, has been appointed as the new Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. Pia brings a wealth of experience in communications and homeland security issues in Congress and in her new role, will advise the Secretary on all matters related to public affairs, as well as oversee strategic and internal communications. Pia and her team will be responsible for coordinating the public affairs activities of all of the Department’s components and offices, and serve as the federal government’s lead public information office during national emergencies or disasters.
Pia served as Congresswoman Giffords’ Chief of Staff from March 2009 until her resignation in January 2012. During her tenure, she oversaw all border security and homeland security issues for the office. After the Tucson shooting, Pia served as the national spokesperson for the Congresswoman and her family. Pia is a native of Saratoga Springs, NY and a graduate of Bard College.
Pia replaces Matt Chandler, who had been serving as Acting Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. Matt has been named Director of Communications. He has been with DHS since March 2009, and previously served as the Department’s Press Secretary and Deputy Press Secretary.